Frustrated Capello says Wags are a 'virus'

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London, Feb.28 (ANI): England manager Fabio Capello is so fed up with the distraction caused by footballers' wives and girlfriends that he yesterday likened them to a virus.

He said he hoped they would stay away from his players on the pitch and in the training ground during this summer's World Cup.

The Wags have previously been held partly to blame for England's lack of progress at the 2006 World Cup in Germany when media coverage of their petty squabbles and competition to carry the most expensive handbags threatened to overshadow the players on the pitch.

Sven-Goran Eriksson, then the England coach, had allowed the Wags to attend and lifted a "no sex" ban on his players.

However, when Steve McClaren, his assistant, took over from Eriksson after the World Cup, he admitted the Wags had been a diversion and banned them from attending future tournaments while he was in charge. Unfortunately, England never qualified for any under him.

The Times quoted Capello, as saying: "It is far enough when they stay out of the training ground, you understand?

Asked if the Wags were a distraction in Germany, he said: "I think it will be [like a] virus, no? I think so. I hope so. The same virus of the last World Cup."

Shortly after becoming the England manager, Capello revealed his intention to allow the Wags to see his players only once a week.

He said at the time: "That's it. We're going to South Africa to play, not for a holiday. If they don't want to come for the day only, they should stay home."

Some, however, plan to defy him by moving into the 3,800-a-pound-night suites at the five-star Palace of the Lost City hotel at the Sun City resort, 15 miles from the players' camp, when the month-long tournament begins in June.

Capello had chosen England's training camp near Rustenburg partly because of its remote location.

While David Beckham and his team struggled for form on the pitch in Germany four years ago, their Wags displayed a world-beating talent for partying and drinking champagne.

Newspapers were full of their excesses in the sedate spa town of Baden-Baden, including the 55,000 pounds spent in boutiques in just one hour and the 3,000 pound champagne bill on the eve of one match.

Victoria Beckham has already signalled her disapproval of the Sun City party by renting a luxury flat in Cape Town for her and her three sons, and says she will spend her time visiting underprivileged children. (ANI)

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